Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the Chemical Hygiene Plan Template?


All MIT Departments, Laboratories, and Centers that engage in the laboratory use of chemicals are required by law and Institute policy to prepare a Chemical Hygiene Plan. All Departments, Laboratories, and Centers that are required to have a Plan are welcome to use the Template as the foundation for their own Plan.



Is my Department, Laboratory, or Center REQUIRED to use the MIT Chemical Hygiene Plan Template?

No. Departments, Laboratories, and Centers are free to utilize a Plan design and framework that best suits their needs. However, all Plans must meet the minimum standards, objectives, and requirements contained in the Template. This is to ensure that all Departments, Laboratories, and Centers are fulfilling their Institute and legal obligations while ensuring a high level of protection for personnel from chemicals in the laboratory.


Does the Institute encourage the use of the Template to prepare Chemical Hygiene Plans?

Yes. Utilizing the Template as the basic starting point for your Plan will assist the Institute in ensuring consistent application of prudent practices in laboratories. In addition, adoption of a consistent framework will assist the EHS Office in their annual review of Plans by accelerating the review process while simultaneously contributing to continual Plan improvement.


My laboratories employ very unique and specialized chemicals and procedures; will the Template be able to adequately address the risks posed by those hazards?

Yes. The Template has been specifically designed to be customized for the unique conditions posed by individual Department, Laboratory, or Center laboratories. The Template outlines the administrative measures and standard operating procedures for using common classes of chemicals. If your laboratory uses especially hazardous chemical materials or processes that require specialized operating procedures to ensure safety, the Template provides a worksheet and additional template to provide custom standard operating procedures.


How do I obtain and use the Template to customize for my own Department, Laboratory, or Center?

First, visit and locate the Microsoft Word Chemical Hygiene Plan Template document on the left.

Second, click on the link “Chemical Hygiene Plan Template” and choose to open or save a copy of the Template locally on your computer. The Template is now available to you for customization.

Third, after finalizing the customization of your Plan, you can submit the document electronically to the EHS Office for review via the automated submission form. Upon receipt, the EHS Office will assign a reviewer who will review the Plan to ensure it meets the requirements of the Institute and OSHA Laboratory Standard. The EHS Office will notify you via e-mail when your Plan has been approved or whether adjustments might be required.


Is there a checklist I could use while preparing or reviewing my Department, Laboratory, or Center’s Plan to ensure it contains all the required content?

Yes. The EHS Office has prepared a Preparer and Reviewer’s Checklist that outlines the minimum content required to be addressed in a complete Chemical Hygiene Plan. The checklist addresses both OSHA and MIT requirements, as well as selected best management practices.


How can I learn about updates and news regarding the Chemical Hygiene Plan Template?

To facilitate the tracking and incorporation of periodic updates to the Chemical Hygiene Plan Template, the EHS Office has created an Update Page on the web to highlight and describe all changes to the Template and news regarding the Chemical Hygiene Plan Program.


The Roles and Responsibilities section of the Template do not reflect the organizational structure and assignment of responsibilities in my Department, Laboratory, or Center; can I modify them to accommodate our organization?

Yes, the tasks, roles, and responsibilities associated with the development and implementation of the Plan can be reassigned to best suit your needs. However, all of the tasks, roles, and responsibilities outlined in the Template must be included in your Plan to assure full and proper accountability for meeting the requirements of a compliant Plan.


Does the Institute require that my lab have a chemical inventory as part of the Chemical Hygiene Plan process?

Effective January 2009, as specified in the Chemical Hygiene Plan Template, inventories must be maintained for all hazardous chemicals. Hazardous chemicals include chemicals for which there is statistically significant evidence of health effects following exposure as well as flammable and explosive substances. The use of the online chemical nventory system has been paid for by the EHS Office and is free to you. Its use is recommended but not required. For more information on the chemical inventory system contact the EHS Office at (617) 452-3477 or email